This paper represents an effort to outline some issues and potential guidelines associated with the integration of rock images with laboratory data. It is entirely based on the use of X-ray computed tomography (CT) imaging, which has become more readily accessible over the years and allows for non-destructively imaging geomaterials in three dimensions over many length scales (~10-9 to 100 m). While the number of studies involving X-ray CT scanning has been steadily growing, there is a paucity of rules regarding the conduct of that imaging work compared to the well established set of protocols that exist around all aspects of experimental geomechanics. To correct for this imbalance and build a common experience within the community, the identification of image and lab data integration as a discipline could be of tremendous help as it would allow to devise principles and focus efforts on areas most in need of improvement. More importantly, this new discipline would naturally take on the role of building image-based predictive petrophysical and geomechanical models by leveraging many decades of research on the microstructural control of physical properties. Such image-based modeling effort would require to shift the role of high performance computing tools from simulation to description, with two immediate advantages: (1) A very efficient predictive capability compared to numerical simulations (through constitutive laws) and (2) The associated benefit of phenomenological understanding.

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